Eclipse Foundation Ships Neon Release Train

The Eclipse Foundation shipped its eleventh annual release train, featuring 84 projects and 69 million lines of code from nearly 800 developers.

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The Eclipse Foundation on June 22 announced the availability of its Neon release, the eleventh annual coordinated release train of open-source projects from the Eclipse community.

The Neon release includes 84 Eclipse projects consisting of more than 69 million lines of code, with contributions by 779 developers, 331 of whom are Eclipse committers. Last year's release train, the Mars release, had 79 projects.

"It takes a great amount of coordination and effort by many developers within our community to ship a release that is on-time," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, in a statement.

Ian Skerrett, vice president of marketing at the Eclipse Foundation, said one of the key focus areas for the Neon release was improving Eclipse's JavaScript development tooling. The foundation upgraded the JavaScript integrated development environment (IDE) in the Eclipse platform known as JavaScript Development Tools, or JSDT.

"There's been a lot of work on improving the usability and performance of our JavaScript tooling, including support for the latest version of JavaScript," Skerrett said. "That team did a lot of work on the whole JavaScript tool chain and we have integration with JavaScript build systems like Grunt and Gulp that JavaScript developers use. We have integration with the Chromium V8 debugger so you can have a tight compile and debug cycle. We also improved our support for Node.js development to make it easier to build and debug Node.js applications."

In addition, Eclipse JSDT 2.0 includes new tools for JavaScript developers, including a JSON editor along with the support for Grunt/Gulp and a new Chromium V8 Debugger.

The Neon release also features an updated PHP Development Tools Package (PDT). The new Eclipse PDT 4.0 release for PHP developers provides support for PHP 7 and improved performance.

Another key area of focus was improving the lot of Java developers on the Eclipse platform, Skerrett said. In the core Eclipse platform and the Java Development Tools project, the foundation added HiDPI support, which supports advanced monitors with graphics cards in them. That support is on Mac, Windows and Linux.

There are also updates to JDP, such as auto-save, automatically saving things as developers type into the IDE. And there are improvements to JDT's Content Assist so that when developers are using it they can highlight search fields that they put in, as Content Assist now highlights matched characters and provides substring completion.

Other improvements and additions include updates to Automated Error Reporting . The Eclipse Automated Error Reporting client can now be integrated into any third-party Eclipse plug-in or stand-alone Rich Client Platform (RCP) application.

The Neon release also features improved support for Docker Tooling and introduces the Eclipse User Storage Service (USS). The Eclipse USS is a new storage service that enables projects to store and retrieve user data and preferences from Eclipse servers creating a better user experience (UX) for developers.

"Neon noticeably returns focus to essential coding improvements, like editor auto-save, HiDPI support, better dark theme and more intelligent Java Content Assist," said Todd Williams, vice president of Technology at Genuitec, a founding member of the Eclipse Foundation that offers tools supporting the Eclipse platform such as MyEclipse and Webclipse. "These changes, along with Neon's increased responsiveness, will help ensure that Eclipse remains competitive in its core market segments."